DALLAS -- We already knew coach Alain Vigenault was angry and it appears general manager Mike Gillis is as well.
It was up to Gillis to deliver the Canucks' official reaction to the one-game suspension winger Jannik Hansen received for his hit on Chicago forward Marian Hossa and it was succinct and to the point.
"I told Brendan Shanahan what I thought about the decision and I have nothing else to say," Gillis said Wednesday night, not long after the NHL disciplinarian rendered his ruling.
Hansen will miss Thursday night's game in Dallas against the Stars. Based on his average annual salary, Hansen will forfeit $7,297.30. That money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
Hansen collided with Hossa in the neutral zone at 1:10 of the third period of Vancouver's 4-3 shootout loss to the Blackhawks at the United Center. His elbow and forearm made contact with the back of Hossa's head as both players reached into the air to bat down a puck. He received a roughing minor on the play. Hossa, who has a history with concussions, left the game and did not return.
"While it might be true that Hansen initially reaches up to play the puck in the air, he changes the position of his arm and delivers a sharp, careless forearm to the back of Hossa's head," Shanahan said in a video explaining his decision.
"Although it's true that both players initially had their hands open as the puck approaches, Hossa maintains an open palm throughout. Hansen, on the other hand, has closed his hand and has a closed fist. He also does not extend his arm until after Hossa has made contact with the puck.
"While all of this may occur at a split second, we feel that the carelessness and force of which the blow was delivered elevate the incident to the level of supplemental discipline."
The Canucks had argued that the play was a "hockey play" and Vigneault had maintained it did not even deserve a penalty.
Hansen had a phone hearing with Shanahan right after the Canucks practised early Wednesday afternoon in Dallas. Vigneault, Gillis, the NHLPA and Hansen's agent also participated on the conference call.
Speaking before the decision was announced, Vigneault once again made it clear he did not think the incident deserved a hearing.
"I don't even know why we had the call," Vigneault said.
Asked if he had offered that opinion to Shanahan during the call, Vigneault said: "Very clearly, very clearly."
Vigneault had noted after Tuesday night's game that the referees did not even initially call a penalty on the play. He said there was "no chance" Hansen would receive supplemental discipline from the league.
Hansen had little to say after the hearing.
"The hearing went fine, we are awaiting word on it and that's where it is right now," he said.
Hansen was not made available by the Canucks to comment on the ruling.
The Blackhawks had the day off Wednesday and no update on Hossa's condition was provided.
In his video, Shanahan said he took into account that Hansen had no previous disciplinary history with the NHL.
Hansen's suspension means that Aaron Volpatti will likely draw back into the lineup for Thursday night's game.
LET'S GET PHYSICAL: Zack Kassian is the first to admit his game has tailed off of late, but the rookie used a dose of humour after Wednesday's practice to temper expectations.
"I hope you guys weren't thinking I was going to score 48 goals," Kassian said, drawing laughs from reporters.
Kassian is tied for the team lead with five goals, but hasn't scored in the last eight games and just has one point in that stretch. He's also struggled at times defensively and in Wednesday's practice was dropped to the fourth line.
"I want to get back on track," he said. "I obviously haven't been playing my strongest. There are a lot of ups and downs and it's a matter of staying even-keeled, working hard every day and good thigns will happen.
"I have to be physical, I think that's the one thing the last couple of games I have got away from. You have to be skating to make those hits, just chipping pucks and using my body and making plays and those things will happen."
Vigneault said Kassian is being encouraged to make better decisions with the puck.
"And obviously, a power forward has to be physcial, he has to play the body, he has to have an impact on the ice. When he does that he's a very useful player."
ICE CHIPS: In addition to shaking up his defensive pairings, Vigneault also juggled three of his forward lines in Wednesday's practice. He had Ryan Kesler skating with Chris Higgins and Hansen (who won't play Thursday night), while Jordan Schroeder centered Mason Raymond and David Booth. Kassian skated on a fourth line with Max Lapierre and Dale Weise. . .Cory Schneider will get the start in goal Thursday night against the Stars.
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